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4 power tool safety tips to help you avoid injuries – and OSHA penalties

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The first thing my neighbor does when he buys a new power tool is remove every safety guard. He says they slow him down.Unfortunately, he’s not alone in that decision. Modifying safety equipment is one of the leading causes of farm accidents involving chain saws, circular saws, drills and related tools and equipment. In addition to serious injury or death, misuse of power tools can result in lawsuits, workers’ comp claims, higher insurance premiums and costly penalties from OSHA. It’s simply not worth it.Here are some tips to help you comply with safety regulations, avoid injuries and minimize risks when using power tools on your farm.Don’t modify tools. Farm workers are in a constant race against the clock – or the latest weather report – so it’s reasonable to think that you can boost productivity by taking shortcuts with equipment. Modifying or removing the shields or guards on a power tool may shave off time a project, but those components were placed there for a reason – to protect your workers. Plus, you have even more to lose if a worker is seriously injured as a result of your safety modification.Insist on proper equipment training. Your workers might assure you that they know what they’re doing, but it pays to make sure. Read the operator’s manual for new tools and outline proper safety guidelines before your family members or hired workers use an unfamiliar tool for the first time. Also consider whether your children are old enough to use dangerous power tools. Better to be safe than sorry.Dress for safety. Baggy shirts and pants can get caught in the teeth of equipment, creating a dangerous safety hazard. Require your workers to wear more fitted clothing when operating equipment. Also require that workers wear safety goggles when there is a chance of flying debris.Don’t settle for quick fixes. Farmers don’t have the time luxury of calling a tow truck or dropping off a faulty vehicle or piece of equipment for a quick fix. They learn early how to make their own repairs, and many have their own small machine shops. It’s all part of getting the job done — and done quickly. But don’t sacrifice a quick fix for the safety of your workers. For example, always take the time to shut off motors before investigating problems. Block wheels before working on vehicles, and use jacks to raise or prop up vehicles, rather than improvising with concrete blocks or other items.Take your time, work with the proper tools and equipment and make sure your people are properly trained and working safely. These simple guidelines for using power tools will help you keep your people out of harm’s way and your business OSHA compliant.Read more Grains of Knowledge from Westfield Insurancelast_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast September 18, 2019

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Dry today through Sunday. We should continue to see decent sunshine through that period, although there will be more clouds around both Saturday and Sunday. Temps will continue to push into above normal levels, but will be limited by clouds on any given day.Our next rain event is still on tap for overnight Sunday night through Monday. Rain totals are not impressive, from a few hundredths up to .7″, but it will take thunderstorms to get to the upper end of the range, and we do not see thunderstorm threats as being as big this morning vs. yesterday’s look . Rain coverage will be around 60%. The system just looks like it is losing steam as it heads into the far eastern part of the corn belt.Tuesday should be partly sunny and dry for next week, but we may have to keep an eye out for a few scattered showers from US 30 northward for next Wednesday. Moisture totals will be limited to a tenth or two there, and the rest of the state remains dry. Partly to mostly sunny and dry to finish the 10 day period next Thursday and Friday.10 day cumulative rain potentialThe extended period has no changes either. A chance of scattered showers develops for the second half of next weekend, from next Saturday night through Sunday morning. Rain totals stay at a few hundredths to a few tenths with  40% coverage. Our best chances are in far NW OH and far southern Ohio. Dry and cooler to finish the extended 11-16 day period.last_img read more

How to Shoot Close-Up Shots Like Sergio Leone

first_imgClose-up shots are perfect for building tension and guiding the audience’s focus. Let’s look at how they’ve been utilized by Sergio Leone and others.Top Image: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly via United Artist. Director Sergio Leone was a master filmmaker who worked with the likes of Clint Eastwood, Robert De Niro, Charles Bronson and Henry Fonda to create some of the greatest films in history. One thing that Leone did better than anyone else was to utilize the close-up shot.Close-up shots are one of the standard shots used in filmmaking. The most common use of a close-up shot is as a cutaway from a wide or long shot into a more detailed shot. They are always a detailed shot, but just like the other standard shots, they have different levels of framing from medium and extreme to the lean-in and lean-out.They also have very specific meanings behind them. Let’s explore some of the best instances of close-up shots in film history, and find out why they were used. Many of the shots we’ll explore are from master filmmaker and close-up guru Sergio Leone, but we’ll also explore the application of the shot by other master filmmakers.The Close-UpThe standard close-up shot will frame the subject’s face in such a way that it fills the frame. There is this unwritten rule that tells you not to place the subject of the close-up shot in the center of the frame, but rather frame them in respect to the golden mean, or golden section. As you’ll see, not every filmmaker takes this to heart.Image: From Once Upon a Time in the West via Paramount Pictures.In fact, this was a rule that Sergio Leone broke quite often when filming, especially in this shot from Once Upon a Time in the West. Here Sergio frames Charles Bronson directly in the center of the frame so that he’s looking directly at the audience. Leone used this frame to introduce the hero as a calm and collected man in a moment of real tension, which is a great use of the close-up.Image: From 2001: A Space Odyssey via Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.Another master filmmaker that broke this rule often was Stanley Kubrick, who was known for his one-point perspective framing. In this close-up, Dave looks just off frame, but through the reflection in his helmet we get that famous one-point perspective with Dave being our focal point. By capturing this close-up shot, Kubrick was able to heighten the tension of this scene as Dave moves to deactivate HAL 9000.The Medium Close-UpThe medium close-up shot frames the subject or character from the top of their shoulders to the top of their head. This is the widest that a close-up shot will ever get. It’s really meant to be a bridge in terms of moving from a wide shot to a close-up.Image: From The Good, The Bad and The Ugly via United Artist.In the final duel of Leone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the director places the characters in a triangle formation as they get ready to draw down for the gold. Sergio begins the scenes with a standard medium shot. He then pushes in a little tighter to the medium close-up shot. And then he finishes even closer with the extreme close-up. The tension becomes almost unbearable as he films all three characters in the same manner.Image: From Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.While we old school Star Wars fans were pretty disappointed with the prequels, there is one thing we can all agree on: Darth Maul is a rad character. In one of the best shots of the film, we get this medium close-up shot of Darth Maul with a slight push in. This is cut in just after a prolonged lightsaber duel with Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon. The shot’s framing is meant to heighten the dominance of Maul.Image: From The Shining via Warner Bros.Another great medium close-up shot that really enhances the dramatic tension is this scene from The Shining, also directed by Stanley Kurbick. Here we see Jack peeking through the door after he’s chopped open a gap and poked his head through to deliever one of the best lines in film history, “Here’s Johnny!” This was a perfect cut into the scene, as it really ramped up the chaos of the moment — not only for Shelley Duvall, but for the audience as well.The Extreme Close-UpAn extreme close-up shot is where you frame a specific feature of the subject or character, like the mouth talking or an eye looking around. These are mainly used as cutaways from a medium close-up, and more times than not, this type of close-up shot focuses on the eyes of the character.Image: From The Good, The Bad and The Ugly via United Artist.Once again, as we saw in the medium close-up, Sergio Leone jumps between each character, moving closer and closer to their eyes. Here we see Clint Eastwood looking toward the camera, which is in response to the previous shot where Van Cleef looks just off camera toward Clint. Here the close-up is used to connect the concentration of the characters and to once again heighten the dramatic tension of the scene.Image: From The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug via New Line Cinema.Another director that loves to utilize close-ups is Peter Jackson. In the above clip from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, actor Lee Pace turns toward the camera as Legolas and the other elves lock the dwarves away. The way Jackson uses the this extreme close-up shot is very interesting because it’s used as a reactionary cutaway. Even though Pace’s character isn’t present in the space, he can sense what is happening around him, so Jackson uses the extreme close-up shot to relay this to the audience.The Lean-In & Lean-OutThe final type of close-up shot that we’ll discuss is called the lean. While this isn’t exclusively a close-up shot, the lean shot does do one of two things… It either begins in a close-up shot or ends with a close-up shot. These two different versions of the lean are called the lean-in and the lean-out. Leans are used quite often in films and come in very different framing styles. Here are a few examples.Image: From Brazil via Brazil Productions.First up, we’ll look at a version of the lean-in shot from Terry Gilliam and his film Brazil. While it can easily be argued that this is merely a medium tracking shot, Terry utilizes the motion of the character to pull off this lean-in. As Jack Lint walks down the catwalk toward Sam, the camera tracks closely. But then Jack stops, turns back toward the camera and there is a slight lean-in to bring Jack and the baby mask into a close-up.By using a very wide-angle lens, Terry is reducing the normal close-up framing, but he’s also adding visual information in conjunction with the close-up shot.Image: From The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug via New Line Cinema.Again, Peter Jackson loves to use a type of lean-in shot with his dolly movement. In this scene from The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Jackson frames Balin with a close-up shot as he delivers an impactful line. This line is highlighted and given more emphasis with a dolly-in from a medium shot to the close-up shot that you see. Again, it’s all about knowing when and where to utilize certain visual language like this to aid your narrative.Image: From Dawn of the Planet of the Apes via 20th Century Fox.Lastly, in the film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, we get the best of both worlds as director Matt Reeves bookends the film with extreme close-up shots of Caesar. In each instance he is using both the lean-in and the lean-out. Above we see the first frame of the film… the extreme close-up shot which then pulls back into a medium shot. At the end of the film the reverse is presented. This is utilized to draw the audiences attention to the eyes, which in turn make Caesar more human, and more sympathetic.Know of any other directors that utilize the close-up shot like Sergio? Which is your favorite type of close-up shot? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.last_img read more

Production Tips: How to Maintain the Stunt Double Illusion

first_imgUsing stunt doubles can protect star talent and keep a production on track, but you need more than wardrobes and wide shots to pull off the switch.When it comes to stunts, not every actor is Jackie Chan or Tom Cruise. Most actors will require a stunt double for certain scenes, whether it’s a high fall, breaking through glass, or vehicle work. Even if the actor has gone through serious and disciplined stunt training, and even in the most controlled environments, accidents can happen. Having a double can help protect star talent from injuries that could put the entire production out of commission.For example, in a rooftop leap between buildings in the latest installment of Mission: Impossible, Tom Cruise actually breaks his ankle in the take they use for the final product. Even though he was completely rigged with wires (which were digitally removed, of course) and had rehearsed the stunt and already done several takes, the slightest change in the angle of his foot caused his ankle to break against the wall, halting production for three months.Despite the risks of your lead actor doing their own stunts, the payoff is a captivated audience. The moment viewers notice a stunt double on-screen, they’re no longer paying full attention to your badass action sequence, and they become more critical of any subsequent stunts.What you need is a smooth, unnoticeable transition between actor and double. This goes beyond matching their clothes and throwing a wig on a look-a-like and cutting suddenly to a wide shot (which is honestly exactly what John Woo did in the climactic boat chase in Face/Off). Nearly every shot of Nicolas Cage and John Travolta is a mid to close-up. Once a stunt begins, Woo cuts suddenly to a wide, but even on a small screen, the stunt double switch is noticeable.A better way to go about this is to not just use the framing to hide a double’s face but to also use angles and editing to blur the lines between them. Don’t reserve close-ups for only the actor and wides only for the double. We see this done excellently in John Wick: Chapter 2.Yes, some shots do simply frame out the double’s face, but this is after we’ve seen Keanu Reeves do so many of his own smaller stunts and fighting that in that split-second moment, we believe it’s still him. But beyond that, we see a lot of Reeves in the wide shots, so when the double takes his place in a wide shot, it’s much harder for us to tell. What this does is help create “change blindness.”Change blindness happens when a change in someone’s visual field goes unnoticed. This phenomenon is more likely when the observer lacks interest, which is the exact opposite, hopefully, of those viewing your action scene. Since your viewer is so invested in the excitement on-screen, they’re more likely to notice small changes, especially between an actor’s face and their double in just a few frames. The more we blur the lines, the less we notice.However, the fact that Reeves does many of his own stunts and trains extremely hard to nail the fight choreography really helps this switch. The more time you can give your lead to train and work with your stunt coordinator, the more easily you will trick your audience.Another key factor is the double, well . . . doubling the actor! Body language is a huge communicator — and a red flag to the audience. If the double doesn’t move like the actor, then chances are they’ll get called out. In A Nightmare on Elm Street, Wes Craven originally had a stunt double for the scene wherein Nancy lights Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) on fire. But Craven didn’t think the double moved like Englund, so instead he lit Englund on fire.Make sure the stunt double studies his actor’s movements. Don’t reserve one type of shot for either actor or double. And if possible, train your lead to take on at least some of his or own stunts to better blur the lines between actor and double and fool your audience.Cover image via Terminator 2: Judgment Day (TriStar Pictures).Looking for more filmmaking tips and tricks? Check these out.The Right Way to Give and Receive Feedback on a ScriptChoosing Aspect Ratio: A Guide to What You Need to KnowProduction Tips: Walkie Talkie Codes and Etiquette on SetDirecting Fight Cinematography: The Right Way and the Wrong WayFilm Study: How to Pull Off a Twist Ending in Your Featurelast_img read more